The bullying effect

I’ve hardly talked to a MH pro about the bullying I was subjected to as a teenager, and the less obvious nastiness at prep school. Yesterday I told my care coordinator(she’s also my depot nurse) it was a major factor re my developing SMI.She asked if it still affected me.I said ‘yes’ . She mentioned trauma. She was visibly shocked when I mentioned being described by other prep school boys as the ‘missing link between man and ape’.The last meal at prep school when someone knowing there’d be no repercussions put tobacco in my cup of tea,so I was violently sick; the monkey chants at public school aimed at me by a classroomful of other boys.

My self confidence/self esteem/sense of self worth is gossamer thin/very brittle. I can get 9 positive comments and the negative 10th one will cut like a rusty knife causing great inner pain. It’s the one I’ll fixate on.


Despite many attempts to persuade me to do so, I've been very avoidant re pursuing further education. To be truthful I never thought of it as being a trauma thing She said EMDR or CBT could help.


Comments

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    It resonates with me to read of your pain Firemonkey, trauma I believe is with us all in the Neurodiverse community, keeping in mind the relativity of our lived experiences.

    Those experiences many moons ago are still with you, their impact perhaps being as powerful now, as they were then.
    You deserve to be free from their impact on you, they have been with you so long that they may even feel familiar, it doesnt sound like you want these emotions with you for the rest of your life though.

    I've done a lot of therapy and worked very hard on my traumatic memories and made real progress, they remain with me in a less powerful form today.

    The feelings can run so strongly, it for me is like being hijacked by my emotional response, its all comsuming, overwhelming.

    I believe that learning how to feel better through experiencing different forms of talk therapy is beneficial for sure, CBT included.

    I'm cautious with my choice of therapist though, the medical model of disability perspective exists in talk therapy, like in every other caring/helping/educational profession.

    Establishing in the "intake interview" if the therapist values the cure/fix approach over the social model of disability will help you to decide if they can actually help you.

    Remember that you are an equal in this relationship, they provide the tools for you to take with you and use in the time outside of sessions. This is where progress is made, the tools need to be tailor made for you and your presentation.

    Also another sign if suitability is if they are willing to prepare for the sessions by reading and watching resources you supply to them, this pre education is necessary imo as Autistic and Neurodiverse talk therapists are quite rare and especially so in the public health sectors.
  • @Amity .Thanks for your reply. I've had bad experiences with therapists, so am very wary of them. I'm also not a great fan of CBT. That's because I've heard of too many CBT therapists adopting an 'It's your faulty mind that makes you think so' approach rather than a 'We can help you to cope better with the effects  of what you experienced' approach.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited June 26
    I have experience of doing CBT, however Amity has broader knowledge of types of therapy.

    About CBT it appealed to me at the time, but would say the following:

    1. It needs to be catered to you, especially with someone aware of ASD, the social and other aspects. There are particular approaches that wouldn't nessisiarily be a good fit for someone on the spectrum. One example is I'm hyper analytical, so I can out argue myself fairly easily. It is like asking someone who has deductive reasoning coming out of their ears to form on one two level conclusions that are basic but simplistic. When in fact for most life's questions you don't have exact answers, it is fairly arbitrary when you choose to draw conclusions.

    What I learnt was that certain thought pattern themselves can have a negative impact on my well-being an rather than trying to fight them with logic,  I accept that these are negative to me, and otherwise subjective thought exercises philosophically, then I interrupt them with noise information or mindfulness approaches.

    2. CBT is by its nature a directive system, it takes a skilled trainer to help you figure it out without putting their own world view on it.

    One of the myth about CBT is becuase it I more practical it is more empirical and effective. There are things that talk therapy has good empericy and efficacy on, there is clear some benefit to it. In both cases it depend on what area. Efficacy is about the results, not the theory of action. The theory of action could be completely incorrect and it may still work in that case. So acupuncture might for example some pain relief in some case but not help you quit smoking, the belief on that might be incorrect. There might be something key in the process like rotating the needles, that relates to the actual action in some unknown way.  Just a theoretical example. 

    3. You do need to figure out the general cycle of behaviour and though pasterns so you an start break links in that chain. Talk therapy is often a do way of doing that. Insight helps when using CBT, which is ironic becuase we often use CBT when we have extreme statements (never, always, only, etc) and fundamental beliefs which are wrong or subjective.

    If you have experienced different types of traumas like  bullying, loss, these can have an impact each other from time to time, and may remind you because you have similar feelings, and therefore trigger one another.

    A traumatic event or past negative experience can be like Schrödinger's cat it can be thought of as both dead and alive at the same time. As an adult you can certainly experience bullying, but you might be able to leave that environment behind. If you are able to control your environment, you might not have the same level of experience you did as a child or young adult but the effects of that still there until you treat or condition the trauma and what you might believe about yourself as a result.  It might be then that there is nothing alive in that box once you open it or it is just not as impactful on your life.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited June 26
    @Amity .Thanks for your reply. I've had bad experiences with therapists, so am very wary of them. I'm also not a great fan of CBT. That's because I've heard of too many CBT therapists adopting an 'It's your faulty mind that makes you think so' approach rather than a 'We can help you to cope better with the effects  of what you experienced' approach.

    Yes indeed you have. Worse than many others will have experienced if I recall correctly. ❤

    There is a small emerging supply of Neurodiverse therapists and although as a community we have broadly different experiences, the experience being "The Other" is a common ground.
    This is another experience that I look for evidence of in a potential therapist.

    A relative of mine who is gay developed a near instant understanding of my experiences when I explained masking. There are gaps that I still had to explain, but that shared "other" experience meant (in their case) they were receptive to learning.

    I will have a look for a link or a video to post here which may help explaining the ASD basic standards needed to a therapist.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    At 21 mins approx Quinn Dexter from Autistamatic provides an interview style guide to counselling Autistic adults. This is part one, part two of the same interview is in the second link (starts at approx 25 mins).


    https://counsellingtutor.com/counselling-autistic-clients-2/

    I like this resource as Ken Kelly one of the founders of this training site is an autistic counsellor.

  • @Amity those were a bit of a  curate's egg for me,but definitely thought provoking.I perceive them as being part of a self appointed 'autistic elite' which quite frankly, as a disabled person who needs quite a lot of support but is very intelligent, I increasingly struggle to identify with.  Unless I got an autistic   therapist who didn't see his/her lived experience as being more relevant and worthy than mine I don't think a therapeutic  relationship would work.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Its not perfect for sure, but in a 30 minute interview its always going to be the condensed version, Im not aware of other resources like this so Im not looking for a perfect guide, my point is more so focussed on the therapists willingness to learn, which you can assess by the 2nd session and if its not working you can say so and request they refer you on to someone who would be more suitable... or you nay decide that you could work with them to move cliser to your goals...

    The questions used in the interview could be a frame to tailor your own responses  a guide on how to be your therapist... 
     
    In my experience elitists dont generally move into and stay in the caring professions, not with todays training standards.

    The value systems dont gel together... as in, elitism and the service of others are at odds.

    Also if we are speaking specifically of autistic elitism, in my experience on WP (pre diagnosis) there was an absolute minority of people truly of that mindset.
    The vast majority were just regular folk trying to get by in life and helping others as they could on the same path.

    Like any other area of life we are hardwired to notice the threats to our safety, its why bad news sells and dastardly headlines are perfect click bait.
    Do you think its possible you have had trauma around autistic elitism?



  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    verity said:
    I have experience of doing CBT, however Amity has broader knowledge of types of therapy.

    About CBT it appealed to me at the time, but would say the following:

    1. It needs to be catered to you, especially with someone aware of ASD, the social and other aspects. There are particular approaches that wouldn't nessisiarily be a good fit for someone on the spectrum. One example is I'm hyper analytical, so I can out argue myself fairly easily. It is like asking someone who has deductive reasoning coming out of their ears to form on one two level conclusions that are basic but simplistic. When in fact for most life's questions you don't have exact answers, it is fairly arbitrary when you choose to draw conclusions.

    What I learnt was that certain thought pattern themselves can have a negative impact on my well-being an rather than trying to fight them with logic,  I accept that these are negative to me, and otherwise subjective thought exercises philosophically, then I interrupt them with noise information or mindfulness approaches.

    2. CBT is by its nature a directive system, it takes a skilled trainer to help you figure it out without putting their own world view on it.

    One of the myth about CBT is becuase it I more practical it is more empirical and effective. There are things that talk therapy has good empericy and efficacy on, there is clear some benefit to it. In both cases it depend on what area. Efficacy is about the results, not the theory of action. The theory of action could be completely incorrect and it may still work in that case. So acupuncture might for example some pain relief in some case but not help you quit smoking, the belief on that might be incorrect. There might be something key in the process like rotating the needles, that relates to the actual action in some unknown way.  Just a theoretical example. 

    3. You do need to figure out the general cycle of behaviour and though pasterns so you an start break links in that chain. Talk therapy is often a do way of doing that. Insight helps when using CBT, which is ironic becuase we often use CBT when we have extreme statements (never, always, only, etc) and fundamental beliefs which are wrong or subjective.

    If you have experienced different types of traumas like  bullying, loss, these can have an impact each other from time to time, and may remind you because you have similar feelings, and therefore trigger one another.

    A traumatic event or past negative experience can be like Schrödinger's cat it can be thought of as both dead and alive at the same time. As an adult you can certainly experience bullying, but you might be able to leave that environment behind. If you are able to control your environment, you might not have the same level of experience you did as a child or young adult but the effects of that still there until you treat or condition the trauma and what you might believe about yourself as a result.  It might be then that there is nothing alive in that box once you open it or it is just not as impactful on your life.

    I really like your perspective on how to adapt CBT to suit your needs
  • I've never  thought about trauma re 'autistic elitism'. I do know I find it hard  to identify with much of 'autistic Twitter'. It seems to have quite a few people who have been able to achieve great things while simultaneously  having  very high level sensory or other symptoms.

    Then there's the authoritarianism re language usage and the fanatically negative attitude re  those who are NT. It's all too intense and hyperbolic for me.

    I'm not the type of person to, as some have done, set myself up as an 'expert' within months of getting a  diagnosis. 

    Going back to the trauma aspect-at school I was treated as being rather awkward, strange and not very intelligent  by both the other students and the teachers. Someone to criticise and/or  mock rather than praise. I found out only very recently that my pre teen  IQ far from being that of a 'not very intelligent' student was quite good. It is still as good at the age of 65, and I'm still the  clumsy,socially awkward and poorly coordinated person that I've always been.



  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Something in your last post resonated with me FM, I will try to find the right words to communicate this.

    Bullying existed throughout my school years and continued into adulthood, girls can be experts at cutting eachother with words and causing harm with psychological tactics.

    As a result of immediate family and wider social messages most of my life has been focussed on what other people expected of me, the unrealistic standards I had to meet, the  relationships which were conditional based on my performance.

    The physical and emotional consequences of being me as I am were simply not worth it.

    As an undiagnosed person I grew up knowing that there were 2 versions of the world, how I seen it and how other people did.

    I learned very early that my perspective was not only wrong, but because it was so different, it also didnt matter to anyone except me.

    I internalised the belief that my views were 2nd class to other peoples views, it led me to seek acceptance from other people and brought me further away from who I really was.

    Realising that I was autistic was a massive turning point in moving away from that harmful way of being.

    I realised I wasnt a complete fup-up and within an online community I was actually quite normal...

    Did you have/do you remember reviewing past confusing experiences in your mind, but with the  insight that you are autistic?


  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    Councillors are trained for extensive period to be aware of own biases, and are required to take therapy themselves both during and after training on an ongoing basis. They are also require to study ethics and especially consider quite difficult ethical dilemmas, which do not always have obvious or exact answers, in order to protect clients, personal and public interests and safety.

    They also have a duty of care and responsibility to refer you on if relationship would be detrimental to you for whatever reason.

    The whole point of that is to avoid their issues and personal biases getting mixed up with therapy and being aversely affected themselves. It is not to say they would never use personal examples, however they are well aware of the disadvantages of directing counselling from personal examples and try to avoid involving personal life in their therapy. In contrast various unregulated self help gurus and life coaching proponents.

    Non directive styles (client focused) especially works on the theory of how to achieve this.These idea were started in the 1960-70s but were fairly crude to start with. If you can can imagine if they are not trying influence the area of interest or what the problems are, then they might not direct you to speak at all or use very controlled language when interacting with you especially at first. Nowadays most councillor do not draw from one prevailing theory, they use a mixed style becuase one size doe not fit all and not all issue can be address with one approach.

    The advantage of having a trained councillor with experience in ASD, is mostly in time explaining social issues form an ASD perspective as well all the other thing being on spectrum can impact a person's life. That is not to say someone on the spectrum woudl be a good fit for you. If this issue woudl distract from the therapy might be more appropriate  under someone else, on the other hand this is also a bias that may or may not be relevant to you achieving what you want .

    CBT is by its nature directive. But should be based around client goals (considering the ethics), not their perception of what best. In my personal opinion a non directive style could be used to explore the issues and provide the information, and  building block to use soemthign like CBT.  It is my personal bias that CBT from day one, would be difficult to implement due to the requirement of a higher level insight, and only have experience of being empowered to

    I suppose a possibility of how a self-directive style may achieve reach a higher level of insight is through a natural wastage process or elimination but wonder what effect that process will have on the person in the mean time. This is possibly why CBT has more or less efficacy for different conditions and some thing are more or less understood.
  • Amity said:

    Did you have/do you remember reviewing past confusing experiences in your mind, but with the  insight that you are autistic?


    I have done so to a smallish extent. Things do make more sense  if seen through an autistic lens.I complain about 'autistic twitter' but, thinking about it,  it's very much an outlier compared to other autistic spaces I've participated in . I feel most at home online on here/WP/schizophrenia.com  and the high IQ FB groups. I feel much less of a freak. I can identify with some others  on them and I feel comparatively less of a person standing outside looking in.   

    On a more positive note it is 39 years and 3 months since I was last a psych inpatient. I  moved out of hospital with my wife to be in March 1983. The nursing staff were as certain as can be that I'd back in within 6 weeks! In the summer of 1982 I'd hit rock bottom with  the worst case scenario being a long stay ward  and the best one living in a group home.



  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited June 29

    verity said:
    Councillors are trained for extensive period to be aware of own biases, and are required to take therapy themselves both during and after training on an ongoing basis. They are also require to study ethics and especially consider quite difficult ethical dilemmas, which do not always have obvious or exact answers, in order to protect clients, personal and public interests and safety.

    They also have a duty of care and responsibility to refer you on if relationship would be detrimental to you for whatever reason.

    The whole point of that is to avoid their issues and personal biases getting mixed up with therapy and being aversely affected themselves. It is not to say they would never use personal examples, however they are well aware of the disadvantages of directing counselling from personal examples and try to avoid involving personal life in their therapy. In contrast various unregulated self help gurus and life coaching proponents.

    Non directive styles (client focused) especially works on the theory of how to achieve this.These idea were started in the 1960-70s but were fairly crude to start with. If you can can imagine if they are not trying influence the area of interest or what the problems are, then they might not direct you to speak at all or use very controlled language when interacting with you especially at first. Nowadays most councillor do not draw from one prevailing theory, they use a mixed style becuase one size doe not fit all and not all issue can be address with one approach.

    The advantage of having a trained councillor with experience in ASD, is mostly in time explaining social issues form an ASD perspective as well all the other thing being on spectrum can impact a person's life. That is not to say someone on the spectrum woudl be a good fit for you. If this issue woudl distract from the therapy might be more appropriate  under someone else, on the other hand this is also a bias that may or may not be relevant to you achieving what you want .

    CBT is by its nature directive. But should be based around client goals (considering the ethics), not their perception of what best. In my personal opinion a non directive style could be used to explore the issues and provide the information, and  building block to use soemthign like CBT.  It is my personal bias that CBT from day one, would be difficult to implement due to the requirement of a higher level insight, and only have experience of being empowered to

    I suppose a possibility of how a self-directive style may achieve reach a higher level of insight is through a natural wastage process or elimination but wonder what effect that process will have on the person in the mean time. This is possibly why CBT has more or less efficacy for different conditions and some thing are more or less understood.

    I like how you have put this overview together, (I might recycle your posts on this topic in a later thread V) its true that today the approach to training is more standardised and also to note the cost of completing these courses is very steep. It truly isnt a path that encourages elitism.

    I would urge caution as an Autistic person, I have experienced a lot of therapy due to the myriad of challenging experiences in my life, some excellent and some harmful with most lying inbetween the two extremes.

    As a client my step number one is to source a therapist from the national bodies register.
    In the UK, thats the National Councelling Society and the British Association of Councelling and Psychotherapy, this simply ensures minimum standards and oversight of their practice.

    Next is to assess their continuous professional development, where they have completed further training in specalised areas.

    However, my experience as a client is based in the Republic of Ireland and here we pay for everything privately as the NHS does not exist outside of the UK.

    The cost is high, but it means I was very selective with the choices I had available.

    Personally having recently had the experience of an Autistic therapist, I could not recommend them highly enough to capture the simplicity of the counselling process.

    The usual 4+ sessions spent translating the Autistic way of being reduced down to maybe 20 minutes as I could summarise my specific experience of Autism to someone who simply "got it".


  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Amity said:

    Did you have/do you remember reviewing past confusing experiences in your mind, but with the  insight that you are autistic?


    I have done so to a smallish extent. Things do make more sense  if seen through an autistic lens.I complain about 'autistic twitter' but, thinking about it,  it's very much an outlier compared to other autistic spaces I've participated in . I feel most at home online on here/WP/schizophrenia.com  and the high IQ FB groups. I feel much less of a freak. I can identify with some others  on them and I feel comparatively less of a person standing outside looking in.   

    On a more positive note it is 39 years and 3 months since I was last a psych inpatient. I  moved out of hospital with my wife to be in March 1983. The nursing staff were as certain as can be that I'd back in within 6 weeks! In the summer of 1982 I'd hit rock bottom with  the worst case scenario being a long stay ward  and the best one living in a group home.




    For me the new Autistic lens was very intense for about a month after i freely accepted i was autistic. It lasted long after that for sure, but that first few weeks was overwhelming as huge waves of real understanding of past events engulfed my life.

    Its interesting how different two Autistic peoples experience of the same process can vary eh.

    I remember reading your posts pre diagnosis, (not because im a stalker lol, but because these are the details my brain remembers, yet I cant remember my own phone number, spikey profiles eh...😃) and that doubts about the validity of your criteria were a feature of the discussions, I've often wondered if these type of doubts could delay the development/formation of an Autistic identity.

    It sounds like the love you and your wife shared changed the trajectory of both your lives, the loving validation from another person in this way is quite powerful I believe.


  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    NHS counselling can be hard to get, and may be limited and you will be waiting a while. It is it priorities based on need. I know for some it is referred to via GP. Other may already be under a mental health team, it might be more readily available.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited June 29
    verity said:
    NHS counselling can be hard to get, and may be limited and you will be waiting a while. It is it priorities based on need. I know for some it is referred to via GP. Other may already be under a mental health team, it might be more readily available.

    Im not sure about this one, what I mean to say is the real experience of waiting times depending on who refers a client, @firemonkey might be better able to answer.
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